Joy: New James Norton Film Explores The Birth Of IVF
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Joy: New James Norton Film Explores The Birth Of IVF

The upcoming film tells the story of the UK's first 'test tube baby'

Netflix has announced a whole host of exciting upcoming releases lately, including new Suranne Jones drama The Choice and a TV adaptation of Marian Keyes’ novel Grown Ups. And now the platform has given us a first look at a new Netflix original film, Joy, which tells the true story of Louise Joy Brown, the first person to be born through in vitro fertilisation (IVF). Alongside the extraordinary storyline, the film features a star-studded cast that includes Happy Valley’s James Norton, alongside Bill Nighy. Here’s everything we know so far.

First Look At Netflix Drama Joy

What’s The Plot Of Joy?

Written by Jack Thorne, who has penned films like Enola Holmes, alongside his wife Rachel Mason, Joy will follow three ‘trailblazers’ who played a key role in the development of IVF: young nurse Jean Purdy, scientist Robert Edwards, and surgeon Patrick Steptoe. It’s based on the true story of these three pioneers, who were involved in the development of the first ‘test tube baby’.

Along their ten-year journey, the trio faced various technical and practical problems, plus opposition from the church, media and medical establishment. However, they eventually succeeded, and Louise Joy Brown was born via IVF at Oldham General Hospital in 1978.

The official synopsis reads: ‘The film celebrates the power of perseverance and the wonders of science as it follows this maverick trio of visionaries who overcame tremendous odds and opposition to realize their dream, and in doing so allowed millions of people to dream with them.’

Who Stars In Joy?

James Norton plays scientist Robert Edwards, while Bill Nighy takes on the role of Patrick Steptoe. Thomasin McKenzie (Last Night in Soho) plays embryologist Jean Purdy. Charlie Murphy, who Norton starred alongside in Happy Valley, also features in the cast, alongside Rish Shah, Eoin Duffy and Douggie McMeekin.

The film’s director, Ben Taylor, has spoken about his personal interest in the story. ‘As the proud father to two boys only made possible by IVF, this is a story extremely close to my heart,’ he said. ‘It’s an honour to bring to life the journey of this heroic trio, whose world-changing work was only achieved in the face of unimaginable opposition.’

Thorne, too, has spoken about his and his wife’s own IVF journey. ‘It took Rachel and I seven rounds of IVF to have Elliott, so when the opportunity came to tell the story of the pioneers, I jumped at the chance and suggested Rachel might like to jump too,’ he said. ‘The more we discovered, the more amazed we were, at the audacity of the science and the lack of support from the scientific community. It is an incredible story.’

Is There A Trailer?

Yes – Netflix has released a first look at the film, which you can watch below.

When Is The Release Date For Joy?

No date has been revealed yet, but it’s thought it will arrive on Netflix later this year.